Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is Why

As many Wonderland readers know, I have struggled at times with writing this blog--wondered if I've revealed too much about myself and my family, expressed genuine and sometimes raw emotion only to have my words misunderstood, negatively judged, or subtly mocked (dang! annoying!). Rarely does a day go by that I don't question whether I should keep writing here, in all honesty. I get so much out of this writing work, and yet it's tricky to find a balance between sharing the intimate details of motherhood in a realistic, this-is-how-it-is way and opening one's self up to, as a reader once commented, the fickle reactions of the Internet (I believe she described it as worse than a school playground).

But recently a fellow stay-at-home mom ("Anonymous", fifth comment down) left me one of the nicest notes I've ever received on my mama-writing. And this is why I'm writing.

No Rest for the Weary. Ever.

There's something wrong with a life characterized by having changed sheets and made all the beds, done two loads of laundry, vacuumed, emptied the garbage, picked up toys, sorted children's hand-me-downs and packed them away in the appropriate places, and paid a stack of bills, all before 9 o'clock on a Sunday morning.

I would never in a million years trade being a parent for a childless life, but every now and then the memory of weekend mornings spent drinking coffee while sitting still makes me want to weep.

Also, the fear that I may never truly sleep ever again.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving: The Recap




As can be seen by these photos, a great deal of cooking, baking, and eating occurred yesterday, much of it with the help of my two little Thanksgiving elves, Julia and Genevieve. I would like to inform the masses that the Jennie-O Oven-Ready turkey breast was a thrilling success.

As was my spontaneous homemade centerpiece of autumn bounty. See?


I must admit that I skipped my regular Thursday workout yesterday (exercise? on Thanksgiving? maybe if I wasn't doing the cooking...) and spent most of the day drinking coffee while listening to Turkey Confidential on Minnesota Public Radio.


(Mmmmm, pumpkin cheesecake.
And yes, that IS a side of turkey-shaped sugar cookie
and holiday M&Ms. What of it?)



Oh--and one more thing. If you happen to notice that the writing on the envelope of your Christmas card looks a bit wobbly this year, it MAY be because I addressed ALL OF MY CHRISTMAS CARDS last evening while tipsy on 2-1/2 glasses of champagne. Ha! My life is looking less harried all the time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

I've always loved being home with my daughters full-time, I really have.

I truly have always loved being a full-time at-home mom, even when the culture shock of starting the gig knocked me on my ass. Even during the colic. Even during the isolation and loneliness and fear of that first round of parenthood, with no other mothers nearby, no other babies, just one long alone day after another with a newborn who never napped, often fussed, and confused me greatly. I loved being a SAHM even during the long isolated winters of two children, of baby- plus toddler-hood, the snowbound, housebound, nine-hour days to fill with rattles and blocks and pull-toys and Play-Doh. I don't mean that I loved the day-to-day existence of those trying times, but I never doubted that mothering full-time was what I should and wanted to be doing. It probably wasn't even remotely apparent, but I even loved my mothering life in its larger, macro sense last summer when Genevieve spent most of her waking hours screaming at me, and most of her sleeping hours not sleeping.

I don't love all the individual moments of full-time motherhood--who ever could? The constant indignity of managing everyone's pee and poo and other bodily fluids, the eternal drudgery of housework, the temper tantrums, the exhaustion, the strange fact of never, ever having one's body to one's self? No one loves all that. But I must be turning a corner--is it real, that near-mythical light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel as a family stumbles forth from the foggy baby-years?--or maybe because it's Thanksgiving week, but at one point yesterday as I roamed the house living my usual daily at-home-mom life, I thought to myself, I should really appreciate this more, because I really have it good right now.

And sure, some of that was because the girls spent a chunk of the morning playing house together, like a movie version of toddler girls at home: kneeling on the playroom floor, huddled over baby dolls, murmuring to each other as they fed and swaddled and occupied themselves in cooperative play. But it was more than that. It was the realization that, while there are many, MANY things about my current job that are distasteful--just like there are at other jobs, the kind you leave your house for and by which you earn a paycheck--I've got a lot of perks in this cozy domestic life I've formed--that has evolved--over the past 4-1/2 years since I entered it as a total novice.

I can (mostly) wear what I want. I can (mostly) structure my own days--now more than ever, as my girls get a bit older and our days are no longer defined by multiple naps and regular nursings. If I want to cook soup all afternoon on a cold November day, I am free to do that. If my girls need a solid morning of home playtime with Mama, I can (mostly) give them that. I'm not at the beck and call of a boss, colleagues, or clients in crisis. I don't wake up to an alarm clock. Next summer I'll be taking my girls to an organic farm every week to pick up a farm-share box of produce, which we'll explore and sort and wash and cook, and we'll have time to do that. If I feel like a walk in the middle of the morning, I can take one (with the girls, of course). If we have errands to run, we can do them during the day, leaving dinnertime and evenings and weekends free for relaxation or family activities. I can get up and make myself an espresso right now, in my slippers. I don't stress about whether or not I look professional enough, if my suit is stylish or dowdy, if my shoes are comfortable and yet dressy. Business lunches are no longer part of my world.

I understand that to some people reading this, all that might sound absolutely awful, their worst nightmare. But you have to understand that embracing stay-at-home motherhood is a process, a journey with many stages. You don't enter it loving all those things. You miss the business lunches, because they allow you to converse with adults. You hate sitting around in slippers, because it makes you feel like an unimportant loser who used to have serious tasks to accomplish other than changing a diaper. You feel odd and unsettled doing things like going for walks in the middle of the day when no one else is around; you feel like you're playing hooky from your regular job.

But things change, and I can only speak for myself as someone who's always had a yearning in my heart to spend my available time with the babies I created, to take that on as my largest, most important work--MY babies, MY family--and trust that I'd make it through the breathtaking shock of adjustment, through the strings of months when I'd have given my left foot for a break from this hardest of all jobs, all the way to the moments like yesterday's, when I come up for air for a moment, here in my warm and cozy mama-housewife life with my daughters napping and their blankies pressed to their lips, and think, This is what I'm thankful for now; and I hope I never look back and think I didn't appreciate it enough.

Given some of my past experiences, I can just imagine certain working moms out there reading this post and working up a sputtering cloud of offended indignation, taking my own peaceful thankfulness this week for smug judgment against their own work lives. To them I say: Don't bother. Not everything is about YOU.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm thankful for all my dear readers, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baby Discipline

For some time now, I've been living in mild fear of the first time my children, during the course of their own imaginative play, shed light onto the real workings of our household. You know--play house with their Little People dolls and let loose with a perfect imitation of Mama and Daddy bickering over who disciplined the baby wrong? That sort of thing?

As many Wonderland readers know by now, we've been having major sleep problems with Genevieve for over six months now. There are the epic screaming fits at bedtime, the kind that remind you of those newborn colic days, when you gird yourself each evening for the battle to come. There's the night-waking on a sometimes hourly basis, the crying and calling and night terrors and exhausted distress (I meant us, with that last one). I can't say that either of us is perfect in our middle-of-the-crisis parenting; there's nothing like indefatigable baby crying to reduce all rational thought to an incoherent, desperate list of ideas like, "Do whatever she wants!" and "Ignore her completely!" and "Find someone else to come over so we can leave the state!" In the end it's usually Christopher who deals with the bedtime battles--after all, I've dealt with all the other battles, all day long--and I don't think he'd mind if I say that he sometimes loses his patience.

This morning the girls were playing house with their baby dolls while I readied myself for the day. I could hear them next door in the playroom, murmuring about blankies and bottles and breakfast and teddy bears, strollers and nursing and naptime. Then I heard them run down the hall to their nursery to put the babies to bed under Julia's covers. But after awhile, I noticed a particular drama unfolding: Genevieve would put her baby to bed, close the door, run back down the hall to the playroom, and then, at Julia's urging, make her baby cry out: "UP! UP! UP! COME IN! COME IN! NO SLEEP! WAAAAAAAH!"

At which point Genevieve would race down the hall, throw open the nursery door, and yell none too sympathetically, "What da p'oblem? WHAT DA P'OBLEM!"

Seriously--nothing like listening to your baby illustrate just how snappish and mean the adults in the house can sometimes sound to give you a pain somewhere in the vicinity of your heart.

I gathered the girls to me and suggested that maybe they don't yell at their babies anymore, that maybe they ask them gently, "What's wrong, baby? Do you need another kiss and hug?"

In real life, though, that tactic rarely works.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oven-Ready

For some reason this year my holiday jitters are starting a little early. Maybe it's because I'm already just a little bit stressed. I've always loved the holidays, but ever since becoming a mom, my relationship with the holiday season has been a bit fraught, a bit love-hate. I struggle as it is with the daily running-race of life with toddlers in the house; the diapers and laundry and crazed mealtimes and epic bedtime battles leave me exhausted at the end of each day, even as I'm cherishing the rosebud mouths and the after-bath smells and the way they hug their blankies as they sleep. There's enough to do, in the running of a household, during any uneventful season (maybe because when you have a two-year-old and a four-year-old, there's no such thing as an "uneventful season"?), without the myriad tasks that fly in to fill up my calendar in December as swiftly as Santa's reindeer pulling a sleigh. But usually I don't start to stress out until after Thanksgiving, at least.

All of a sudden my brain is whirring with thoughts of Christmas cards and holiday parties and Julia's "half-birthday" celebration at school; the Winter Walk downtown, Advent celebrations, gift-shopping for the girls (how to balance things they really need and would love with a tight budget and the wish to avoid extravagance?), stocking stuffers, which cookies to bake for neighbors and friends. What we can afford and what we should forego this year. Where to find the town's smallest Christmas tree to fit our tiny living room, who to watch the cat when we travel.

However, I am happy to report that yesterday I decided upon my Thanksgiving dinner menu, which involves a.) the least amount of effort possible, in the form of a Jennie-O oven-ready turkey breast, and b.) substantial contributions from the grandma who will be visiting for the holiday. I'm a solid, food-loving cook, but I've never done Thanksgiving before, I'm a mostly-vegetarian, and I'm kind of phoning this one in, I have to admit it. Which is absolutely fine with me.

I'm also thinking, after reading this sweet, heart-stirring essay by writer-mama Catherine Newman, that what this house needs this year is, surely, a sweet old-fashioned ceramic creche. I've heard they calm all manner of jittery ills.

Also, whenever I start to get stressed about the holidays, I tell myself that it could always be worse, reminding myself of that time, two Christmases ago, when Genevieve was a newborn and I was so sleep-deprived from nursing all night and chasing a toddler all day that one evening I accidentally left an entire bag of shopping gifts in the cart in the Target parking lot and drove away without them.

Ha! There's nothing like recalling that crazed insanity of newborn life to make your current life--holiday to-do lists and all--seem like a piece of Christmas cake. Fruitcake, maybe, sure--but still, a piece of cake.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stress Test

This morning I went to the doctor (actually, the nurse practitioner) to determine why my hair keeps falling out in clumps. I'm talking big, palm-sized chunks, every time I wash my hair. At this rate, I'll be bald by my 38th birthday. There's also the racing heartbeat, the cracked lips, the four-month-old rash around my mouth, and the fact that 90% of the time my body feels like someone accidentally flipped it into fifth gear and it's stuck there--that racing, revved feeling that won't go away no matter what you do, no matter how many bubble baths you take or five-mile runs you power through, and even when in your conscious mind you feel absolutely unbothered and fine? That's a weird thing, people.

I was thinking maybe thyroid. Either that or some mysterious unknown illness that is slowly killing me without my knowledge. Just kidding; I am so not a hypochondriac, and before my Epic Sinus Infection of Spring 2008, I had not gone to a doctor other than my OB/GYN (you know, for birthing those babies and all) in years.

Anyway. It turns out that apparently all those symptoms are caused by STRESS. Which, you know, kinda goes both ways: GOOD NEWS! YOU'RE NOT SUFFERING FROM A SERIOUS ILLNESS WHICH MANIFESTS ITSELF IN YOU LOSING ALL YOUR HAIR! But then: HOWEVER! YOU'RE LOSING ALL YOUR HAIR!

Harumph.

Did I mention that my famously ultra-low blood pressure and pulse rates were elevated? Seriously, that NEVER happens to me. I could be birthing a baby over 60 hours of back labor and my blood pressure and pulse rates would still indicate that everything's cool. In fact, I think I did that once.

I was kind of hoping, what with the election over, and the nursery school I'm partially in charge of semi-stabilized at last, and the baby finally talking and thus the tantrums decreasing from ten a day to more like two or three, and the hour-long screaming fits at bedtime getting a little better after some six months straight----well, you know, that there would be no reason for all my hair to be falling out. True, yes, there's that whole issue of the baby waking up and crying anywhere from three to ten times per night, every night, for the past 2-1/2 months. But other than that my life is a heck of a lot less stressful than it was three months ago. Apparently my autonomic nervous system has not yet gotten the message. Did you know that an entire summer of nonstop toddler screaming and the complete obliteration of every second of one's free time by the black hole of a low-stakes volunteer job gone horribly, high-stakes awry can make all your hair fall out, in protest, three months later? Nice.

But, did you know the good news about stress? THEY MAKE MEDICINES FOR THAT. And I don't mean a pre-trick-or-treating mojito.

Though a pre-Thanksgiving-dinner mojito--or glass of wine, if you'd rather--might be just the thing.

Power on, stressed-out, jittery mamas! You (and I) can do it. And good luck with your hair. I know I need it with mine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We're Talking Rich

In response to my discussion below of that Babble.com article about families' financial situations, my friend Amy sent me the following link, Global Rich List. It's fascinating! Click here to see a calculation of where you stand, income-wise, when compared to the entire world. Talk about a new definition of "high income." Right? (Thanks, Amy.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Suddenly I Feel A Lot Poorer Than I Did Ten Minutes Ago.

OK, so what are Mondays for but neglecting chores (or, for you office drones, whatever kind of work you do at your job) in favor of surfing the Internet for interesting reading? I found some (more) for you.

First, a poignant essay in the December issue of O Magazine, which will make you tear up a little bit in that Catherine-Newman-is-the-best-writer-ever-and-every-single-thing-she-ever-writes-about-children-and-parenting-is-sweet-and-fantastic sort of way. Seriously, I cried reading this. Don't even get me started talking about it. That line about "Birdy was born in the old house"? That part about moving away from babies in the house, babies on the way, babies in the future? Argh! Kill me now. My heart is broken. I can't stand it. But it's so beautiful. Go read it.

And then, on a less-lovely note, an interesting feature over at Babble.com, about three different families coping with the current economic crisis. What I found so fascinating about this peek into the daily lives of these other families was the way Babble categorized them: the magazine picked one family from each economic class (low income, middle income, high income), and called the family with an annual income of $65,000 "low income," the family earning $100,000/year "middle income," and the family with a yearly income of over $300,000 as "high income." Do these categories line up with how you define low, middle, and upper class? Our household struggles to support the four of us on one modest academic salary, but I would have at least called us "lower middle class" before reading this. Wow, we're poorer than I thought!

Kidding, folks. It is what it is. But I really would be interested to hear what you all think about these stories, if and when you read any of the articles I've linked to today (see the New Yorker link in my post below, too, if you haven't already).

Happy Monday

Veering from my usual parenting chronicles: the November 17th issue of The New Yorker has a lovely, happy commentary about Obama's victory. Go read it for some Monday good cheer, sigh a happy sigh, and relive November 4th all over again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Parenting Moments You Never Think About When You're Pregnant With That First Baby

Yesterday afternoon I found myself at the neighborhood playground with two small children bundled in parkas, hats, and mittens, changing a poopy diaper on the cold, wet ground. IN THE RAIN. Don't even ask.

Afterward, I found myself standing a half-block from home while one child stood at the end of the block refusing to walk any further toward our driveway and the other child fretted and cried about the first child refusing to move. ("But we'll never get home! We can't leave her outside on the corner!") This went on for a good fifteen minutes. STILL IN THE RAIN.

And then I went home and decided that when I re-enter the work force, "wrangling toddlers" should be a viable resume entry, indicative of vast internal stores of patience, negotiation skills, and the ability to keep one's head from blowing off one's body in a fit of temporary insanity.

The End.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Or Mine. I Wonder What Mine Would Be Like.

I wonder what Genevieve's personality would be like if she didn't wake up crying ten times overnight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Feel Like a Cruise-Ship Social Director. For Toddlers.

Christopher's working an extra-long day today: he left before the girls were awake, and will be gone about an hour later than usual tonight. He took the car, and also it's raining. Thus, we have a long, indoor day to fill.

So far today we have: made and baked homemade soft pretzels; watched part of a Wiggles DVD from the library; had a tea party for morning snack, eating the homemade soft pretzels and drinking actual raspberry herbal tea in our teacups; watched the window-washers come and clean the interior and exterior of all the windows in our house; played Play-Doh; read library books; and gone "swimming" in the bathtub (with swimsuits, beach towels, etc.). And that was all before lunch.

Now it is naptime, only Julia isn't napping (and she's my without-fail napper!). If anyone has any tips on filling approximately four more hours of indoor playtime, let me know. Immediately.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why is Healthy Food so Expensive?

Today at the grocery store, I SO wanted to buy the Kashi brand health-food frozen waffles, with their all-natural ingredients and their major allotments of both protein and fiber (instead of just sugary carbs, like all the other frozen toaster waffles). I so, so did. (We love the Kashi brand in this house; they do a really good job making convenience foods like dry cereal and granola bars something other than, well, just more processed carbs.) But the Kashi waffles were three dollars per box of six, while the Cub (store) brand ones are $2.39 for ten. My girls eat frozen waffles every single day for breakfast. And I know those Cub ones--even though I buy the whole-wheat--are just a whole lot of nothing. But I still can't justify the expense of the healthy waffles.

Then there's the fact that, after I had the great idea to start serving grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for one meal per week as a way to cut down the grocery bill, I discovered that the second ingredient in Campbell's tomato soup is HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. The SECOND ingredient. After tomatoes. BUT BEFORE WATER.

GAH.

Mystifying Conversation in the Car

On the way home from preschool today:

Julia: Mama, isn't it so wonderful that my school is endless? The teachers haven't done much.
Me: ....Huh? That your school is what?
Julia: Endless. The teachers haven't done much.
Me: Done much of what?
Julia: Done much to the school.
Me: ......

What-to-Do Wednesdays: Empty Boxes

The other week the girls and I discovered the book Not A Box, by Antoinette Portis, at the public library. It's a simple, clever, charming picture book about a line-drawn rabbit using his/her imagination to turn a large empty box into a race car, mountain peak, skyscraper, hot-air balloon, robot, rocket, etc.


Last week I rounded up some empty boxes (well, one box and one unused Rubbermaid storage bin), and Julia and Genevieve spent the morning climbing in and out their imaginary trains, tugboats, and school buses.


It was Julia's idea to actually act out the book page by page. The girls had me read it several times in a row so they could do it over and over again. Later, they piled stuffed animals and dolls into their boxes and gave rides to all the babies and creatures.

There's something very heartwarming about the old-school activity of pretend-play with an empty box. Don't you just want to squeeze those cuties peeking out of the boxes up there? Now go find some boxes for your own cuties.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Blame My Lack of Sleep

I blame all of my lack of ambition on sleep deprivation. On a near-daily basis, I am beset with all sorts of barely-formed ideas about things I would theoretically like very much to do: write a book, find some freelance/consulting work, make a plan for a post-toddlers career, train for a 10K. All these things feel important, even imperative at times. But then I never get any farther than those burning, stewing, shapeless thoughts.

Is it because I NEVER GET ANY SLEEP GOD HELP ME? Seriously, people, I don't know how many more months and years I can take this. I am one of those people who, pre-baby, required a solid nine hours each night to function well. The rare six hours a night left me lightheaded and fuzzy. When my babies were born, the interrupted sleep of exclusive nursing gave me headaches, mood swings, and constant high appetite; and yet, my babes were small, so I expected it, which made it easier to take, even though I nursed my babes for many, many months. Now Genevieve is two, and each overnight she cries out with such desperation and distress--sometimes in her sleep, usually waking up--at least three, and sometimes up to eight or 10--times a night. It wouldn't help to turn off the baby monitor: she screams, yells for help--I'd hear her, monitor or not. It's not possible to ignore her; she shares the nursery with Julia, and she is truly calling for help--she does not calm down if no help arrives, she simply shouts louder, as anyone would who needs help, no?

When you combine the baby night-wakings with the husband who snores, you end up with anywhere from five to 10 wake-ups per night. Each morning I get out of bed feeling like I didn't sleep at all. And clearly that can only go on for so long before one's quality of life becomes, well...SEVERELY LACKING. It's not going well, people. I'm all jittery and crazed, with myriad minor-yet-annoying physical symptoms bothering me one after the other (or all at once). And needless to say, no creative or career-minded projects are getting off the ground.

I know, I know: this too shall pass. I only hope I have a brain cell left when it does.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It's Cold, People

Election night: still warm enough for tutus

Uh....does anyone else think it's a little COLD around here? Six days ago it was 75 degrees, two days ago it snowed, and today I'm sitting around in three layers, shivering while the furnace rumbles. The windchill outside is 18 degrees. It's fair to say I'm not really feeling prepared to go running in fleece, earbands, and gloves yet. Seeing as how last week I went running with bare legs and arms.

Autumn in Minnesota. It's always the same, and somehow always still shocking and surprising.

In other news, my babes are actively following the Obama family's search for a White-House-bound puppy, Genevieve's begun speaking in gerunds (at the window: "Mama! Snowing!"; co-strumming a stuffed Elmo's guitar: "Helping!"), and today I baked both chocolate chip cookies and from-scratch pizza dough, because it was cold and wintry outside and it seemed like the right thing to do. Of course eating chocolate chip cookies and homemade pizza is the even righter thing to do.

What's on your agenda for this late-autumn Sunday? A cold-weather run, in fleece and gloves? Movies on DVD? Working on your book proposal? Fill me in.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Still Celebrating

I can't stop celebrating. It's time to watch this video again. Now that Obama has won the election, watch it again and be amazed anew. Maybe you'll shed a few tears, like Christopher and I do when we see it.

When I first saw this video, last February sometime, I was absolutely stilled by the power of Obama's words. I vividly recall going for a run just afterwards, and running down Fourth Street replaying the lines over and over in my head. As I told Christopher last night, back then I honestly knew in my gut that Barack Obama was going to go all the way. Later on I became fearful, and discouraged, but somehow I could just tell he was amazing and that nothing could stop him. That America would do the right thing, would be buoyed by his vision and promise for a better country.

"Yes we can, to justice and equality. Yes we can, to opportunity, and prosperity....Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Few Random Thoughts on Today

I hardly slept last night. I stayed up late to hear Obama's acceptance speech in real time and then was kept awake the rest of the night by a noisy windstorm, Genevieve's return to hourly wake-ups, and my own brain which would not stop spinning. I kept thinking during the night, "Yes we can, yes we can, yes we can." It's hard to sleep when history's just been made.

This morning I had about five cups of coffee in quick succession and tried to wrap my mind around the day. It feels like the entire world has changed. I keep replaying that moment when NBC News suddenly cut into our local news team at ten p.m. Central Standard Time, and there were a few split seconds of jarring disorganization, when you just knew it was happening, and then Brian Williams said, "There will be young children in the White House again for the first time since the Kennedy administration," and the words on the screen registered: Barack Obama elected 44th President of the United States. And then the amazement, the awe, the cheering, the tears. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life, I am sure.

The other day I ordered a necklace from Old Navy--stay with me now--, had a gift card and picked out some sale items, threw this into my checkout bag because it was fun, and cheap, and I thought it would enliven my basic stay-at-home-mom uniform of solid-colored t-shirts. When it came in the mail yesterday I discovered that it is a little (or a lot?) bit crazy--bright, with beads so huge they resemble those jumbo atomic fire-ball jawbreakers we used to eat as kids, remember those?--only I couldn't tell that from the website image when I ordered it. But Julia fell in absolute love with it, BEGGED me to keep it when I hemmed and hawed. This morning, as we discussed the profound joyfulness of the Presidential election outcome--how we should all be celebrating today--Julia asked me what we could do, to make the day happy, and special, and a celebration. We decided on an indoor picnic for lunch, and also? I put on the bright, crazy necklace and wore it out for flu shots and kids' haircuts and errand-running, in all its big, bold, festive, celebratory glory.

It felt like just the thing.

Happy day to all of you out there today. I hope you're all wearing bright, crazy jewelry and having picnics today. Or your own personal equivalent. I'm full of joy and hope. Aren't you?

What-to-Do Wednesdays: Celebrate

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A New Day

Genevieve slept through the night uninterrupted by hourly wailing and crying last night for the first time in months and months. Surely this must be a sign that good things are going to happen today, right?

Monday, November 03, 2008

If I Used Twitter

This is what I'm doing this morning:

Getting ever more excited for Election Day tomorrow.

Wondering what it would take for my family to have, say, three days in a row with nothing going on---no playdates, no board meetings, no out-of-town visits, no company coming, no doctor, dentist, opthalmologist, or hair salon appointments, no volunteer obligations, no parent-teacher conferences, no birthday parties. Wondering how my family got so ridiculously busy.

Trying to figure out if my caffeine consumption is necessarily helping me power through my ridiculously busy weeks, or giving me an artificial anxiety disorder.

Worrying about any number of things which I rationally understand are not worth worrying about but which I can't seem to stop worrying about anyway, such as the fact that Genevieve isn't involved in any early-childhood activities yet and that--aside from preschool for Julia--my children rarely play with other kids anymore (because we're too busy! what happened to playgroup? we're all too busy, that's what!). And my extreme difficulty in acquiring the needed number of continuing education credits to maintain my psychologist's license, now that I'm not working and need to be home to care for two children every day, and how in the world am I going to get 21 more CE hours before next September? How? And the fact that my girls really need some sort of indoor exercise this winter, but tumbling and dance classes for toddlers are expensive, people, and some months you're thinking, Well, it's either all these groceries or tumbling class! You know? And then I'm worrying about how maybe I should be WORKING and EARNING SOME MONEY.

Oh, there's much more on my anxious mind than even all this, but I don't have time to list the rest of it, and no doubt you're all just as glad.

Somehow I think the election is fevering my brain, and that maybe after tomorrow I'll feel calmer and better about everything. Assuming, of course, the right person for the job wins the election.

Because Obama will save me. Right?

Trick

Genevieve has not napped in three days. Lord help me.